Last night's A Taste of New York, a major culinary gala presented by New York Magazine at the Puck Building and benefiting City Harvest, was an orgy of food and mirth. Over 30 of the city's best restaurants, from Alain Ducasse to wd-50, set up tables with a signature dish, and a boisterous crowd of well-heeled foodies circulated around, trying the food and chatting up the chefs.
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto stood, friendly but silent, in traditional dress behind the Morimoto table; respectful visitors bowed to him. Bill Telepan, presumably abandoning Telepan's table, sat on the periphery in civilian clothes, sharing a bottle of champagne with a friend, and looking relieved to not be working his food station. We approached him with Adam Platt, or thought we did; by the time we said hello, the magazine's critic was doubling back in the other direction, attempting to preserve his anonymity. "Why is Adam Platt running away from me?" Telepan asked. Elsewhere, surrounded by profusions of world-class dishes, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's John Stage couldn't turn out his pulled-pork sandwiches fast enough. (One of these was spilled on Gotham Bar and Grill's's Alfred Portale by an enthusiastic guest.) By the end, everyone seemed to be full, tired, and happy, but you don't have to trust a New York employee's judgment of that. "I love it," a lady told us, "but it's a good thing they only have this once a year."